Audit uncovers mishandling of funds by Sheriff’s Office

by Becky GINOS

FARMINGTON—The Davis County Sheriff’s Office is under investigation following an audit that showed more than $126,000 had been mishandled by the department, some of it stored in various drawers in the cubicle of the Accounting Technician II, according to the Clerk/Auditor’s office.

In the Clerk/Auditor’s report, obtained by the Clipper through a public records request, monies and documents were removed from DCSO on April 3, 2018, when the audit began. According to the report, the primary focus of the review was on the period of Oct. 1, 2017 through April 2, 2018.

As per Utah State Code, officers are required to deposit all public funds daily if practical but no later than once every three banking days. When interviewed, the DCSO Business Manager said he was aware of the statute but other DCSO Finance Division staff said they were not aware of the statute.

Also, inmate funds are held in trust by Davis County when someone is booked into the Davis County Correctional Facility. However, “on April 3 the Auditor’s Office removed the following monies related to inmate commissary trust funds from a cubicle in the DCSO Finance Division” in cash and checks totaling $34,917.92 that had not been deposited as of April 2.

Credit card receipts totaling $509.24 had not been batched or entered into the county financial system as well.

The DCSO started a new kiosk system Feb. 14, 2018 that allowed friends or family members of inmates to deposit funds to purchase personal items. The audit found more than $400,000 in kiosk receipts from Feb. 12, 2018 to April 21, 2018 had not been processed. As a result, the audit found some errors favored inmates and in others resulted in funds being taken from inmates.

“In one instance, an inmate was transferred to the DCSO Correctional Facility with a check in the amount of $1,660,” the report reads. “Intake staff erroneously applied the check twice providing the inmate with a $3,320 balance. As a result, within two and a half hours of being booked into the facility, the inmate was released because they were able to post $2,985 in bail and given a $355 debit card upon release.”

In his report to the Davis County Commission, Clerk/Auditor, Curtis Koch concluded that “key members of the DCSO Finance Division, primarily the Business Manager and Accounting Technician II, failed to perform their core responsibilities related to the handling and safeguarding of inmate and county funds. Due to this failure, over $125,000 of funds were exposed to risk of loss, fraud and inaccurate accounting.”

Koch said the report was intended to provide the DCSO and Commission with information to assist in “taking appropriate corrective action.” He further stated that the report was also intended to “provide law enforcement with information that may be necessary to conduct a criminal investigation.”

“The Sheriff and his administration has no comment at this time to the request for information,” DCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. Ty Berger said in a release. “This situation has been turned over to the Davis County Attorney’s Office. We understand the follow up investigation to the Clerk/Auditor’s findings has been outsourced by the Davis County Attorney’s Office to another agency for follow up and consideration.”

Berger later confirmed it has been turned over to the Farmington Police Department for investigation.


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